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FAU HARBOR BRANCH SCIENTIST RECOGNIZED FOR INDIAN RIVER LAGOON LIFETIME SERVICE  

Dennis Hanisak
 

Lynda F. Rysavy | 2/26/2020

The Marine Resources Council presented FAU Harbor Branch Scientist Dennis Hanisak, Ph.D., with the Stan Blum Award for Lifetime Service to the Indian River Lagoon during 19th Annual Marine Resources Council Conservation Achievement Awards on February 22.

Dr. Hanisak has worked most of his career at FAU Harbor Branch, with a research emphasis on marine plants and water quality in the Indian River Lagoon. Stan Blum was a marine biologist, environmentalist, and prominent conservationist who received the Chevron Conservation Award in 1992, one the nation’s most prestigious marine conservation awards before passing away in 1998.  The Marine Resources Council is a 501c3 organization devoted to protecting and restoring the Indian River Lagoon through sound science. 
 
Dr. Hanisak’s nomination:
Dr. M. Dennis Hanisak, research professor at FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, has conducted research on the marine plants in the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) and in other parts of Florida, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean, for over four decades. Among his IRL accomplishments, he initiated and directs the Indian River Lagoon Observatory and its Network of Environmental Sensors that provides high-resolution water quality/weather data through a dedicated interactive website

Hanisak launched and continues to lead the Indian River Lagoon Symposium, an annual forum for Indian River Lagoon science and its application to lagoon management. He is a co-author of “Submersed Plants of the Indian River Lagoon (2008)“, the first comprehensive floristic field guide for IRL use by researchers, educators, resource managers, and general public. As FAU Harbor Branch’s Education Director, he develops and leads programs that engage students with the IRL, including the Semester By The Sea program and the Harbor Branch Summer Intern program for university students; innovative programs with St. Lucie County School District (including the Marine & Oceanographic Academy on the Harbor Branch campus) and the Junior Scientists Program (with the Indian River Land Trust) for high school students, and the Ocean Science Lecture Series for the public.